CD prep/metadata questions...

Just been reading JustinP’s excellent article - The Importance and Benefits of a Dedicated Mastering DAW

This passage intrigued me; maybe others could advise too:-
The album track names for each song are populated from the source file names for each song which I already have properly named when I export files from my REAPER processing sessions. Then, that file name is populated to the track marker name and CD-Text track names automatically by WaveLab. From there, it’s auto-populated (with a preset) to the ID3 metadata for any WAV/mp3/AAC files I render. With the click of a button, rendered files can have a numerical prefix to keep them in order within a folder or file system, but the numerical prefix is not present in song title metadata, which is an important detail to me.

  1. What button is being used to render files with an additional numerical prefix, please.? Can I force a batch rename of the source files (overwrite them) with numerical prefixes, right from the CD Montage I’ve re-ordered.?

  2. After using the CD Wizard, I see that the filename is automatically populated to the (CD) track marker name; but I don’t see the filename being populated to the CD-Text track names. What might I be doing wrong…?

    I’m keen on seeing, if I can get more done inside WL itself (timesaving), than turning to 3rd party tools.


If you are a Facebook user, I did a pretty extensive thread last month on rendering and metadata in the Facebook group. I can’t remember if they were two separate posts but if you search the WaveLab Users Group (Unofficial) on Facebook, you will find it:

99% of the time, there is really no need to use a 3rd party metadata app if you have WaveLab. I have a metadata app that I use to double check and troubleshoot things now and then, or for unique cases where it’s just faster/easier to enter in metadata in more of a spreadsheet type view but again, this is rare. The one big caveat is that with my method, using special characters in metadata is a little complex. This is because I populate metadata from CD-Text and CD-Text is restricted to ISO-8859-1 characters. For the type of work I usually do, this is fine. If I have to do metadata work that involves a lot of special characters, I find it faster to just use a 3rd party app and keep WaveLab restricted to ASCII so that CD-Text and file names do not have a problem. This is because my file names are also generated from marker names, plus the numeric prefix.

Anyway, to answer your questions:

  1. I don’t know anything about batch renaming because I just get it right from the start :slight_smile: To get it right from the start, in the Render Tab, look for the “Naming Scheme” preset menu. In the Factory Presets, there is a “Numeric Prefix” option:
    Dropbox - Numeric Prefix.png - Simplify your life

As you can see here, I have made a bunch of others too:

The point is, with “Numeric Prefix” chosen, each rendered file gets 01, 02, 03, etc. added to the start of each file. This allows you to keep the marker names, and CD-Text fields free of these ugly numbers, but the file names themselves will get the numbers so they stay in order in a folder etc.

WaveLab knows the track number so there is nothing extra to do besides select “Numeric Prefix” in the Naming Scheme area before rendering.

In addition, Naming Schemes can be saved as part of a larger Render Preset which is VERY helpful to get the render settings you want set very quickly. See here for some ideas:

  1. Here are the CD Wizard settings I use:
    Dropbox - CD Wizard.png - Simplify your life

This names the markers based on each clip name. With my normal workflow, the clips are perfectly named as each song title already. No extra characters. Just the song name, and only the song name. This is because after I capture it from my analog chain and trim/clean things up, I give the new file a perfect name. So, my markers are therefore perfectly named already. This comes in handy later.

If I’m working “in the box”, then my clips are not perfectly named. I keep the file and clip names just as I received them so it’s easy to keep track of the source names etc. for reference. In these cases, after running the CD Wizard, I simply rename each red marker to be exactly each song name. Nothing else, just the song name. It’s quick to do if you have a song list to copy and paste from.

When you do this, it allows you to very quickly push the marker names to the CD-Text names. To do this, call up the CD-Text Editor box (found in the CD Tab). First, paste in (or manually enter) the album/project title and artist/performer name. You can then push the artist/performer name to all the rest of the songs by pressing the button shown here with the red arrow by it:

Then, use the scroll bar (or shortcut) to move to Track 1. When you move to track 1, look for the button in the top right corner that pushes the marker names to ALL CD-Text track names in one click:

Now you have perfect CD-Text which can then be auto-populated to metadata with the right metadata preset. For that, I don’t have time to explain right now but it’s in the Facebook group, and if you save the loaded metadata preset as part of your new montage template, you never have to open this area or think about it, other than to quickly add the project specific artwork. The rest is automatically just ready to go.

The key is getting the marker names correct, from there, the CD-Text is populated in just a few clicks and the metadata is auto-populated from my metadata preset.

Again, the only time I need a 3rd party app is for very special cases.

Side note, if you see a ? appear in the CD-Text Editor box, it’s because you have an invalid character. Sometimes copying and pasting text from another document will produce invalid apostrophe versions, and other special characters will be invalid if Restrict to ASCII is chosen. In the case of a bad apostrophe, simply delete it and type a fresh one.

If anything could be improved with WaveLab, it would be to find a way around easier use of special characters for metadata but keeping them out of the CD-Text which has a more restricted character set but for my workflow, it hasn’t been a big concern.

Dear Justin - thanks so much; you’ve truly been more than generous with your time.!

I’m not a member of the FaceBook group so am glad you wrote as much as you did here.

For my question 1:- I now understand it is best to ‘get things right’ first. Your screenshots have been great - some useful ‘preset’ ideas I may well follow myself. :slight_smile:

For my question 2:- the CD Wizard settings are much the same as mine; but OMG - the CD-Text settings button you showed is what I’ve been missing.! I’ll make sure I get the marker names correct.

Thanks for the many other little tips/insights.


I’m a little short on time today but if you go in the M etadata tab in the montage, you can press “EDIT” and then find the preset menu in the window that pops up.

Choose “Organize Presets” and it will reveal where on your computer the Metadata presets are stored. Then, put this file in that place manually:

Now, you can select my preset which will transpose a lot of useful info from CD-Text and elsewhere. Save this as part of your new montage preset and you’ll never really have to think about metadata again, except adding the optional artwork.

One thing the HOFA CD-Burn.DDP.Master app does a little better is that it makes some of this automatic. It does a better job of assuming that what you entered as CD-Text should also be converted to various metadata fields.

In WaveLab it’s also possible and also easy, you just have to set it up first.

Nice one… thanks; that will be useful. Won’t do anymore with this now. Will take a look later in the week…

It would be great if WL ‘assumed’ a bit more and automated what could be done with CD-Text throughout… has anyone made a Feature Request about this…?


I think the main bottleneck is that WaveLab was made in a time when CD-Text was king and then metadata was added later.

I think a way to start over on the entire concept so that we just entire this info in one time, which allows for special characters that metadata allows, but then a setting that strips out special characters for CD-Text and provides you a preview of that would be great.

Kind of a more simple and elegant overview of the data. Right now, the Metadata Tab looks like some coding nerd stuff rather than something the average user would want to interface with.

Luckily once it’s set, it’s fairly automatic but there is a reason I’ve had to explain this many times over I suppose.

All the WaveLab tutorials I’ve seen are great at just regurgitating the manual in video form but I haven’t seen any that actually give you daily workflow help. It would be very easy to make one that explains all this but I keep running short on time to do this, and I have a bigger idea for a useful WaveLab series that focuses on workflow efficiency stuff.

Me again…

Had a chance this morning to dive back in to all this - your ‘preset’ file worked a treat JustinP, just as you said. :slight_smile:

Marker names → CD-Text (titles)
Populate track CD-Text name fields in one go (with the newly discovered button you pointed me to.!)
Metadata Edit window - call up your preset and all CD-Text populated as ID3 tags etc, for MP3s and also applied as RIFF info too.

All round thanks again - my workflow will be much neater than I have been doing til now.

We can but hope for that extra little ‘HOFA style’ intelligence being brought into WL at some point. :slight_smile:

If you ever get to make/post some of those ‘real-world’ WL video tutorial workflow tips/tricks/methods on YouTube, you’ll be guaranteed plenty of views I’m sure…!


PS:- looks like Reaper is getting ‘embedding metadata’ enhancements soon Justin… maybe you’ll be able to do even more prep of files inside there first… v6.04+dev0221 - February 21 2020 - Cockos Incorporated Forums

Yeah, it’s painful to not have this video series done because in my mind, it answers all the common questions for new users that come from other mastering DAWs, or for those who mostly mixing but are now dabbling in mastering and are used to Pro Tools for example.

It’s always the same questions and none of the videos I see really help in a real-world way, they just repeat the manual in video form.

I just haven’t had the time to stop mastering projects in order to take this on properly, but it will happen.

Also, I saw that about REAPER but even with that addition, it’s way far away from being a full mastering DAW in my opinion, and probably never will be, even though it’s good at certain things that are part of the mastering process, the analog routing and play/capture for example.

I don’t really think anything will replace the power and greatness of the WaveLab montage in my view.

I agree that most of what I’ve seen as well (admittedly on YouTube), do simply repeat the manual in video form. I’m one of those recording/mix engineers ‘dabbling’ in Mastering - and I’d love to see your ideas of videos, for the new user. I can imagine some dedicated WL commercial/academic courses would be a different matter - if you can afford the time and money… :slight_smile:

And yeah, was just thinking this metadata stuff suddenly became topical over there too - and that all thats being added to Reaper right now, might help you skip a step or two, later on… :wink:

All good stuff.!